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The United Nations Children’s Fund launches the Facts for Life special edition, a publication providing life saving information for people in Chernobyl affected areas


Kyiv-Minsk-Moscow, 21 March 2008 - UNICEF today launches Facts for Life Chernobyl, a publication that provides people living in areas affected by the Chernobyl accident with essential information to prevent child death and disease, and to protect women during pregnancy and childbirth.

The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in April 1986 was the most serious nuclear accident in history as large parts of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine were exposed to radiation.

The consequences of the catastrophe still have an adverse impact on the lives and health of the population particularly children. At the same time there is a continuing need for functional information that enables the population living in contaminated territories to build their lives rationally and sustainably.

Facts for Life Chernobyl has been developed jointly by UNICEF Ukraine, Russia and Belarus together with government representatives, leading national experts, representatives of international organisations and NGOs, and UN colleagues. It will and contribute to the well-being of children, women and the general population living in Chernobyl affected territories in the three countries by providing key information for them to cope with the environmental, social and health problems that they face, focusing on mothers, children and young people.
In order to meet the information needs of the Chernobyl affected population and assist them in improving their health and protect children, the publication will provide facts on proper nutrition, young child development and iodised salt consumption for the prevention of iodine deficiency disorders. The publication will also address cancer prevention and provide information on the basic and specialised services that are available to them.

Facts for Life Chernobyl is a particularly important publication given that children’s health and development are critical for the social and economic progress and future welfare and stability all countries, while missed developmental opportunities have an adverse impact on the future lives of children and in many cases affect future generations.

The sixteen key messages in Facts for Life Chernobyl address parents and other caregivers and can easily be communicated by health care specialists, education specialists, community leaders and local administrative authorities who are viewed as the most trustful sources of information.

Some 35,000 copies of Facts for Life Chernobyl will be distributed among people living in Chernobyl affected areas in Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Belarus.

Since it was first published in 1989, the original Facts for Life publication, produced for use by general populations, has become a flagship UNICEF publication to promote child survival, early childhood development and safe motherhood. Currently over 15 million copies are used worldwide in 215 languages including Ukrainian.

The 2008 Facts for Life Chernobyl edition is co-published by UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and IOM.


UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


For more information please contact:

Anna Sukhodolska,  UNICEF Ukraine
Tel: (+38 044) 230 2514,

Maryanna Zaichykova, UNICEF Ukraine

Tel: (+38 044) 230 2514,

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